As a family of five, changing to clean/organic eating was a huge learning curve. To be honest I am still learning a lot as I go. One of the biggest struggles however, was budget. After spending a lot of time doing lots of research on the topic, and many related to it, I knew it was something my family and I just had to do. My biggest fear, though, was how could we afford to almost double our food budget? Buying only clean and organic foods…I felt as though it was a lot more expensive.
What I have learned, is with some things, that was the case…However, I learned how to make it work for our family without having to sacrifice the quality, and still get the foods I wanted us to have. It got me thinking, I am sure I am not the only one with this struggle, so I thought I would throw together some helpful hacks on eating clean while still being budget friendly. Here are the three main tips I have for this…
First, take a day to explore;
Take a day to check out your local markets, only looking at the foods you would buy going forward. Price check things, at different stores. Look into farmers’ markets in your area as well. My personal favorites are Trader Joe’s and Target. Ask questions. In my findings, I have found that some places like Trader Jo’s and Whole foods, have their own food standards in the things they are going to sell in store. This is one of the reasons Trader Joe’s in on the top of my list. I know even if I pick something that doesn’t say organic I know that it is still without all the “bad” things I am trying to avoid feeding my family.
You would not believe the price difference in buying the stores brand vs. name brand. For me, this again is why I choose Trader Joe’s and Target. Both have their own “brand” of foods, far cheaper than other brands that are still awesome products with the same great flavors. For a quick example, I get Simply Balanced (Targets brand/line) of organic pasta for ONE dollar a bag, that I can typically get two meals out of. This is compared to a “name brand” organic pasta for 2.99… That is a two dollar savings, in just one product.
Create a menu;
Creating a food menu is a HUGE one. Being strategic in the foods you buy is the key to saving. Take the time to sit down and create a menu/meal plan. Even down to breakfast and lunches, account for the amount of snack items you need weekly. If you’re stuck on this part, PINTEREST is so awesome for things like this! Then, create your grocery list based on your meal plan. This will keep you from over buying, from guessing, from buying things that you may not eat and end up tossing out. This is where you’ll find major savings in your food budget. Being very purposeful and strategic is key here!
This last one, is kind of a given… DON’T TAKE YOUR KIDS! I know that is sometimes easier said than done, but it will cost you more money, I promise. Plan your trip when dad, grandma, even a neighbor can watch them.. Kids will see you making different choices, and question your every move; they will ask for things not on your list, they will ask for what they “want” or are “use to having” as opposed to you getting what it is that you’re planning on going forward.
My family and I still make the same meals, still eat the same foods… Only now, with a different name, and, more importantly… Different ingredients!
Eating clean/organic can be done, and even better, it can be done with a budget. To dive into it even more for budget savings, a little hack I use is when making your meal plan, plan dinners that can be next day lunches. There are many ways to cut food costs. As a family of five, I am sure you can imagine that our food bill each week is high…. However, actually, it’s not. I average about $125 a week… That’s five people, eating three meals a day, all organic and clean!
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to reach out. I love talking about it. Stay tuned next Friday, as this is the beginning of my new series, “Frugal Friday’s” where I will be diving into even more detail, with tips, tricks, and hacks on savings, budgeting and planning for a healthier lifestyle.
With love and coffee,